Bitcoin investors should not be discouraged by the brutal Crypto Winter because the mass purge is actually good for the long-term health of the industry. That's the observation of Coinbase investor Alexis Ohanian, better known as the founder of social media network Reddit.
'This Is the Spring of Crypto Innovation'
Ohanian — the husband of American tennis star Serena Williams — admits that bitcoin is experiencing a prolonged market slump.
However, despite the Crypto Winter, he says now is actually the "spring of crypto innovation." Why? Because the people that remain in the industry after the market crash are die-hard enthusiasts, not flaky, fair-weather speculators.
"This is the Crypto Winter, no doubt," Ohanian told Yahoo. "But a friend of mine, Brian Armstrong — who's the CEO of Coinbase — said, 'This is the spring of crypto innovation.'"
"What he means is, 'Yes, the prices are depressed. The speculators have fled, and that's great.' Because the people who are now building on crypto are true believers. They’re actually building the infrastructure that it's going to take to really make this happen.”
Market Attrition Reveals the True Believers
While naysayers point to the market slump as evidence that bitcoin is dead, Ohanian says nothing could be further from the truth."
"Some of the smartest people I know in tech are still working on solving these problems. They're building companies that are built on blockchain."
"The hype is gone. The fervor is gone. But I think that's a good thing for all of us who have been in this [from the beginning]."
"We were the seed investors in Coinbase back in 2011, back when it was a pipe dream of devoted engineers."
Crypto Investors Should Think Long-Term
Alexis Ohanian pointed to the example of JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who called bitcoin a "fraud" in 2017 and has since repeatedly bashed bitcoin.
In a stunning reversal last week, JP Morgan became the first major US financial institution to launch its own cryptocurrency.
Ohanian says JP Morgan hopping on the crypto bandwagon indicates that "there is real innovation that is happening now that all the wild speculation is gone. And that's a good thing."
Ohanian says the prolonged bear market is obviously painful for crypto investors, but they should — like all traditional investors — approach bitcoin with a long-term mindset, as opposed to a short-term, day-trader perspective.
"It's painful. But if you were investing it in [crypto] in the first place, you really should have been thinking long-term."
"That's just generally good advice for any kind of investing, but especially something so nascent as crypto."
Ohanian is Intrigued by Democratic Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard
As the United States gears up for the 2020 presidential election, Ohanian suggested that he supports Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
Ohanian says Gabbard has been overlooked by the media, but her profile has been bubbling up on social media, especially Reddit. And this indicates to him that she could be a real contender.
“I've been most intrigued by the fact that the Congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard, has been all but overlooked by most of the media. She is the first millennial presidential candidate."
As CCN reported, Gabbard is also a crypto investor. Federal filings indicate that Gabbard bought $1,001 to $15,000 of Ether and Litecoin at the height of the bitcoin bull market in December 2017.
— Crypto News (@PaveIt_) January 12, 2019
It’s unclear how much cryptocurrency Gabbard currently holds. However, it’s likely that she lost some money on her investments amid the ongoing bear market.
However, Tulsi Gabbard being a millennial crypto investor lines up with new research that shows that millennials are more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies than their older cohorts in Generation X or baby boomers.
— Crypto News (@PaveIt_) February 20, 2019
Alexis Ohanian Image from AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, File